Glasses with blue light-filtering lenses are widely marketed and routinely prescribed by eye care professionals. It has been claimed these lenses can help with reducing eye strain, improving sleep, and protecting eye health. But do they live up to the hype, and are they worth the cost? In this blog, Associate Professor Laura Downie and Dr Sumeer Singh look at the latest evidence from their recent Cochrane Review.
Author archives: Laura Downie
About Laura Downie
Dr Laura Downie is an Associate Professor and Dame Kate Campbell Fellow for research excellence in the Department of Optometry and Vision Sciences, in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, at the University of Melbourne. She is an academic clinician scientist and practicing optometrist. Laura heads the ‘Anterior Eye, Clinical Trials and Research Translation Unit’ and Joint Director of the FrontTear Research Centre, comprising 14 staff and research higher degree students. She is also Director of the inaugural Melbourne Cochrane Centre for Evidence-Based Vision Care, one of nine such centres globally recognised for excellence in leading the translation of high-quality research evidence into eye care practice. Laura’s research has a strong translational focus, combining laboratory, clinical and implementation science as a foundation for improving outcomes for patients with eye disease. She has successfully built collaborations with a strong and diverse network of more than 60 researchers, clinicians and industry bodies, based in Australia and overseas. These collaborations have led to multiple translational outcomes including patents, international clinical guidelines and the regulatory approval of new therapies for ocular disease. She has gained international recognition for research excellence, with awards, highly cited papers, national and overseas speaking engagements and appointments to key international bodies. In 2018, she was recognised by Optometry Australia as the youngest of 32 “female luminaries” to have pioneered optometric research. Laura graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Optometry in 2003 and completed her PhD at the same institution in 2008. She has undertaken postgraduate training in evidence-based medicine at the University of Oxford, and completed the Women's Executive Leadership program at the Hass School of Business, UC Berkeley. Laura has authored >130 peer-reviewed papers, and delivered >80 invited lectures at national and international conferences, including as keynote and plenary speaker. The original and path-setting nature of her research is shown by several fundamental discoveries that have led to patents for new ocular biomarkers and commercially focused projects supported by industry linkages. Laura has made pivotal contributions to ophthalmic research translation, as the first Australian optometrist to lead a Cochrane systematic review, and as lead developer of a novel digital platform (CrowdCARE: crowdcare.unimelb.edu.au) that uses crowdsourcing to teach critical appraisal for evidence-based practice. Laura also serves as a member on national and international expert panels, standards committees, editorial boards, industry advisory boards, and community and professional committees, including as a Global Ambassador for the Tear Film and Ocular surface Society.